Learning to open our heart…
We need to learn how to ask. To learn to express our needs and discomfort. To talk about feelings. To open our heart. It is a normal and healthy attitude. It is a self-preservation instinct as well as self-respect. Besides, it is care about another person. Because oftentimes people hurt us not because they are sadists or because they hate us. More often they just do not know that we feel discomfort.
Ask, and it shall be given you. The Bible says so. That`s the way to «achieve your goals». By starting to ask.
But we prefer to listen to a different source: «Never ask for anything. They will come and give you everything». It was not God who said it but we believed it. And we started living like this.
To be silent when it hurts is an unhealthy approach. When the masseuse shove in too much oil and it is burning the eyes, to be silent means to do harm to yourself. When a hairdresser makes the air too hot and you keep silent, you do harm to yourself. Besides, you are «cursing» the hairdresser. When a person in a bus is sitting on your hand and you keep silent, you do harm to both of you. They are just unaware of your hand. When someone steps on your foot, says an offensive word, deceives, roughly interrupts, makes fun of you… All these situations are just a reason to learn to speak about your feelings. In a reserved manner and with no scenes: «It hurts me» or «This is unpleasant for me».
When I was about ten years old, I had bronchitis. I was prescribed to receive UV heating at a walk-in clinic. And once a nurse left me alone. For about half an hour. And I was being silent and patient. As a result, my neck and chest burnt. And the nurse was deprived of an award. Just because I was used to being silent. I was following the instructions and was patient. Causing harm to myself.
When I was about twelve years old, my tooth was extracted. They made an anesthetic injection, but it did not take effect. And they extracted the tooth anyway. Because I said that everything seemed to be anesthetized (I was afraid to say that I was not ready yet). And I was suffering from unbearable pain.
We are used to keep silent when being deceived or hurt. Moreover, we are taught to be silent when feeling discomfort. It is just discomfort, maybe even not pain. And if it is pain, it is not that unbearable. It could be worse.
I remember a maternity ward of an Irkutsk maternity hospital. Where a woman in labor without a husband is a weak link. It is possible to be rude to her and ask her «not to scream». Many of them really try to be silent and to just patiently endure. They are absolutely helpless and vulnerable, even our instinct of self-preservation is poorly developed. Because walking along the hallway, upstairs or downstairs is not allowed. She can only lie down and keep quiet. And she should deliver the baby quickly. And quietly.
Not always, far not always people do harm on purpose. More often they are just unaware of our feelings and do not understand what is going on inside our minds. People in India often do a lot of things to please you. But, as anywhere else, they will do it to their taste. If you ask them to boil potatoes without spices, they will put some cumin. Because it is not delicious without any spices!
If during a massage therapy you ask not to apply oil, they will apply cream. It is not quite interesting without anything. And here I am on the coach being angry with the masseuse, enduring pain in the eyes until an idea strikes me – I can say «No» right now. And ask to remove all cream from the face. Then why lying on the coach being angry.
It is difficult for me. To say a manicure specialist that it hurts. To tell a chief that it is impossible to eat this. To let my friends know that sometimes I would like to be on my own. Let the husband know that at some point communication turns from pleasant into painful.
When we need to take care of others, it is always easier. It is easy to ask neighbors to be quiet because the children are sleeping. Or to ask for a candy or a cookie for the child. To refuse to meet girlfriends, when the husband got tired. It is easy to do such things for others but impossible for yourself. Because good girls do not ask anything for themselves. Neither do they cause discomfort to anyone. They do not bother, do not distract with their whims.
When we feel pain, discomfort, we need to learn to say: «It hurts me». You need to give a chance to your relations in order not to make a «monster» or a «sadist» out of the other person and in order not to turn into a submissive victim or an unhappy sufferer. There is always a choice, we only need to open our heart. Shutters have securely been locked long ago. It is difficult even to slightly open them. There are a lot of scary and unknown things inside. You never know what will come out of there? And it seems that when we are open, it is easier to hurt us…
But it is easier to hurt us when we are isolated from the world. And people around us without understanding us touch our sore points from time to time. Touching the same sore spot several times. Sometimes it might seem that we like it as well.
In family life, these rakes became favorites. When your husband does things that hurt you, learn to be sincere and open. It is more difficult and unusual to say: «It hurts me» rather than to start fighting him. It is a different reality for the life where we try to seem strong and self-sufficient. But before we take this step, there is a zero chance for a mutual understanding.
To understand a person, we need an adequate reaction. When the person clearly expresses what they are feeling at the moment. But it is wrong to rely on telepathy here. All our dreams about him guessing and understanding everything will remain dreams. Because we often feel one way and look the other way around.
Our face seems to be speaking for itself. It looks gloomy and discontented at hard moments. Or there is a sign of pain reflected on it. It is impossible to overlook it! It is impossible to stay indifferent failing to notice the obvious!
I used to think so when my husband was making fun of me. I felt very insulted but he kept on making fun. Once I gained my courage and told him I did not like it, I saw him surprised. He said that I was always laughing! When he makes fun of me and there is an ocean of pain, my face reflects a smile. It turned out to be like that (I checked in the mirror). And then I began to change my manifestation of pain. Once I burst into tears after a regular joke. In the company of our friends. My husband understood everything. And he has not made fun of me for about five years.
To say: «It hurts me» is always a fall. A fall from the pedestal of an invincible and invulnerabale super-lady. She is flawless, she is a good girl. But nobody knows what is going on inside of her mind. Even she herself does not understand what is going on there. Is there the sunlight and bird chirping in this dark windbreak? It is there. It is just that in order to see it, we need to let this light into our open heart.
Olga Valyaeva — valyaeva.com
translated by Aygul Shagabutdinova